One of the questions I get asked most often is how a small business or even a large business can get started with content marketing with very little or no funding.While there is a strategic approach to answering that question, at some point you have to get down to the dirty job of producing content. And lucky for all of us, there are plenty of free content marketing tools to help drive your content marketing plans, no matter what size business you are in. And no matter what size budget you may have.
Here I have listed my favorite free content marketing tools to help you assess your current ranking on the important keywords your potential buyers are using.
I list out tools to help you determine which keywords you should be using. I include the content marketing tools that allow you to determine which topics are resonating for your audience around those keywords.
I also have listed my favorite free image resources to make sure your written content is supplemented with the right visual appeal that today’s audiences are looking for.
And finally, I have listed out the free content marketing tools I use for sharing content. So without further ado, here’s my list of 22 free content marketing tools.
Moz Open Site Explorer is a great free tool for checking your domain and page authority and also for checking how many links you are getting and from which source. You can also check your competition. But the free version only gives you 3 reports per day. Signing up offers unlimited reporting on all your links, keywords and competitors.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider. If you are looking to do a content audit of a larger website, you can download this is small desktop application to “spider” your websites’ links, images and more from an SEO perspective. This video offers a quick overview
Hubspot Marketing Grader. This new tool replaced the “Hubspot Website Grader” to take a broader approach at analyzing your digital marketing efforts. Not only is it a brilliant lead generation tool for Hubspot, it also produces a nifty little check list of things that you can do to improve your website and social activity. This site got an 82 out of 100! Woohoo.
SEO Book Provides a good analysis of keyword density for your site, competitors, maybe some of the top blogs and publishers in your space, or for a specific article you can paste in.
Google Keyword Planner: If you have an AdWords account, you can use this tool for all manner of related keywords around your focus topic areas. But even without an AdWords account, one great content marketing hack is to just go to Google search bar and type in your main keyword to see what suggestions Google comes up. Then create content around those phrases. You can also go to Ubersuggest toscrape the Google autocomplete for a list of the search terms for each letter of the alphabet.
Google Trends: I’m on this site almost every day just looking at the trends of various keywords, especially for our customers. You can also look at what’s trending if you want to do a “What [current event] means for [your target keyword]” type post such as this one.
Keyword Finder helps you find long tail, low competition keywords to guide your content marketing plans.
keywordtool.io is a great resource because it allows you to enter your keyword and see top related searches. But it also allows you to view questions and also to see top keywords and questions on YouTube, Bing and across mobile app stores.
SerpStat can provide great insights and it also gives you an understanding of the questions people are asking on search engines in regards to your exact topics of interest. Simply do a search and filter by, “only questions,” on the left hand side.
QuickSprout allows you to enter up to 3 competitor sites and get a ranking on key scores for each. The tool is a little basic but provides a simple overview of how well you are doing against your key competitors. I entered in my site and the next 2 top search results for “B2B Marketing. Not bad at a close #2:
SEMrush offers free search analysis for your site and your competitors. But be careful. You get 10 free queries and then you have to pay up.
BuzzSumo is another tool I use almost every single day. If you want to “win the internet” for your keywords, you need to see who your real competition is. Many brands are somewhat surprised to see that publishers often rank the highest for certain keywords. But I also think this tool helps you to see just how much social sharing occurs on the top posts and which channels are driving the engagement.
Topsy is a tool very similar to BuzzSumo although it does not show the number of shares, it produces somewhat different results, and I find the feature set is not quite as rich or intuitive. But still worth a look if you are trying to figure out what articles, videos and photos people are sharing.
Bottlenose is an interesting little website that purports to tell you “what the world is thinking right now” about any topic. You can display topics, hashtags and mentioned people. And then prepare to get mesmerized by the constantly updating chart.
Wordle allows you to create word clouds from any list of words or keywords.
Pixabay is a repository of over 310,000 free public domain photos, vectors and art illustrations. You can use any Pixabay image without attribution in digital and printed form, even for commercial applications. Check out the Editor’s Choice for some amazing pics or search by keyword.
Gratisography is another favorite of mine that offers free high-res photos fromRyan McGuire. New pictures are added every week. Some of the photos are a little quirky which is fine by me. Images are free ofCopyright restrictions.
Hootsuite is my tool of choice for social sharing. I like how I can organize my columns, schedule tweets and interact with my audience.
Buffer is a social media scheduling tool which includes analytics that, in contrast to BuzzSumo’s social overview, let you do a deep dive into which content is resonating within each social channel and se
Triberr is a great tool if you are looking to build community (or “tribes”) around your own content. You join as a blogger. You can create or join other’s tribes on various topics. And then each tribe member has the opportunity to share each other’s content. I have found this to be a great way to find stuff to share and also to connect with some great bloggers out there.
And of course when you have graduated from these free content marketing tools, it’s time to look at NewsCred. But in the meantime, I hope you find these tools helpful.